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Two-Generation Strategies and Involving Immigrant Parents in Children's Education

Robert Crosnoe
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Document date: August 31, 2010
Released online: August 31, 2010

Abstract

Intervening in the parent generation can improve current and future prospects in the child generation. Such two-generation strategies target either parents’ life circumstances or parenting behaviors. Because many immigrants do not have the English capabilities, inside knowledge about schools, or social standing, engaging them more fully in the educational process in the home, school, and community could bring academic returns for children. This paper describes two-generation approaches to the education of young children from immigrant families that center on parental involvement in education. It focuses on Latin American and Asian immigrants, who make up the bulk of the immigrant population.


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Introduction

Intervening in the parent generation can improve current and future prospects in the child generation. Such two-generation strategies target either parents’ life circumstances or the parenting behaviors through which these circumstances affect children (Smith 1995).

When looking at the growing immigrant population, two-generation strategies often focus on parental involvement in education. Because many immigrants do not have the English capabilities, inside knowledge about schools, or social standing conducive to the involvement expected and rewarded by the American educational system, engaging them more fully in the educational process in the home, school, and community could bring academic returns for their children (Suarez-Orozco and Suarez-Orozco 2001). For the most part, these efforts have targeted parental involvement through, for example, programs to help immigrant parents construct home literacy environments or to help teachers better communicate with immigrant parents. Yet, attempts to alter the barriers to involvement behavior—through, for example, programs to help parents increase their education or their own English proficiency—have also gained traction (Bridges et al. 2009; St. Pierre et al. 2003).

This paper describes two-generation approaches to the education of young children from immigrant families that center on parental involvement in education. It focuses on Latin American and Asian immigrants, who make up the bulk of the immigrant population.

(End of excerpt. The full paper is available in PDF format.)



Topics/Tags: | Education | Families and Parenting | Immigrants


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